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The following is a summary of selected post-foreclosure eviction laws:

California Law. A purchaser of residential real property at a non-judicial foreclosure sale may evict the occupant(s) of the property after the expiration of a written notice to quit. The amount of notice that is required depends upon the status of the occupant(s). 

  1. Three (3) Day Notice to Quit.  An eviction may be commenced after expiration of a Three (3) Day Notice to Quit against any occupant of the property except tenants or subtenants.
  2. Thirty (30) Day Notice to Quit.  An eviction may be commenced after expiration of a Thirty (30) Day Notice to Quit against a tenant or subtenant where a party to the note remains in possession of the property.
  3. Ninety (90) Day Notice to Quit.  An eviction may be commenced after expiration of a Ninety (90) Day Notice to Quit against a tenant or subtenant, unless the tenant or subtenant is holding possession of the property under an unexpired fixed-term residential lease that meets certain requirements (see below).
  4. End of Lease Term. Tenants or subtenants holding possession of a rental housing unit under a fixed-term residential lease entered into before transfer of title at the foreclosure sale have the right to possession of the property until the end of the lease term, and all rights and obligations under the lease survive foreclosure, except that the tenancy may be terminated upon 90 days’ written notice to quit if any of the following conditions apply: (1) the purchaser or successor-in-interest will occupy the housing unit as a primary residence, (2) the lessee is the mortgagor or the child, spouse, or parent of the mortgagor, (3) the lease was not the result of an arms’ length transaction, and (4) the lease requires the receipt of rent that is substantially less than fair market rent for the property, except when rent is reduced or subsidized due to a federal, state, or local subsidy or law. [See, California Code of Civil Procedure §§ 1161a & 1161b]

Federal Law. The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009, as amended (the “PTFA”), generally provides that bona fide tenants, as defined by the PTFA, are entitled to continue to occupy foreclosed residential real property for 90 days following service of a Notice to Vacate or until expiration of the term of their lease, whichever period is longer.  A lease or tenancy is considered bona fide only if all of the following conditions exist: (1) the lease or tenancy was entered into prior to the date of the notice of foreclosure, (2) the tenant is not the mortgagor or the child, spouse, or parent of the mortgagor, (3) the lease or tenancy was the result of an arms-length transaction, and (4) the lease or tenancy requires the receipt of rent that is (i) not substantially less than fair market rent for the property, or (ii) the unit's rent is reduced or subsidized due to a federal, state or local subsidy. The date of a notice of foreclosure is deemed to be the date on which complete title to a property is transferred to a successor entity or person as a result of an order of a court or pursuant to provisions in a mortgage, deed of trust, or security deed. The PTFA does not preempt state or local laws that provide greater protections for tenants. 
Local Law. In California cities that have passed a local rent or eviction control ordinance, a tenancy between a purchaser of residential real property at a foreclosure sale and a tenant occupying the property at the time of the foreclosure sale is generally created by operation of law. [See, Gross v. Superior Court (Victoria Mews Consortium) (1985) 171 Cal.App.3d 265] Because these ordinances generally provide greater tenant protections than federal or state law, the local rent or eviction control ordinance will ordinarily govern the grounds for termination of the tenancy.
Disposition of Abandoned Personal Property. Known as "personal property evictions" in many states, in California, the procedures for disposition of abandoned personal property are set forth in California Civil Code § 1980 et. seq. Generally, the landlord is required to serve an 18 Day Notice of Right to Reclaim Property. The form and content of the notice is specified by statute. If the owner of the personal property fails to reclaim the personal property within the notice period, the landlord may dispose of the personal property unless it is valued over a certain dollar figure ($700 or more for residential premises), in which case an auction must be held.